Alex's 2000 Book List

In response to some chatter on BIX, I came up with a list of all the books I read during the year 2000:

Most Interesting

Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson: A story of the development of cryptography and lost German gold from World War II merges with a modern day data haven dot com creation story.

Oddly Interesting

Practical File System Design with the Be File System - Dominic Giampaolo: all about file systems with a comparison of NTFS, FFS, FAT and others, unusually well written.

John Nicol, Mariner - Autobiography of a sailor (cooper) in the British age of sail.

Above Average Fun

Foundation's Triumph - David Brin: A well done addition to Asimov's Foundation series, tying up the ends with Hari Seldon and the robot factions.

A Deepness in the Sky - Vernor Vinge: good ol' science fiction with great spider based aliens and a Niven-like background and story.

A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge: slow zones and a galactic information virus fought by sonic mind linked wolf bands.

Fun but Transient

A Phule and his Money - Robert Asprin with Peter Heck: lots of fun.

A Good Old Fashioned Future - Bruce Sterling: short stories, cyberpunk influenced (one being secret agents finding an underground cavern of evolving machines with abandoned manned space ship simulations / prisons).

Into The Thinking Kingdoms - Alan Dean Foster: a good modern story telling style fairy tale.

The Reality Dysfunction Part 1: Emergence - Peter Hamilton: Start of a space opera. It's a very detailed complex world, which bodes well for finding material to write sequels about.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J. K. Rowling: The first of the series, lots of fun.

Dragon - Steven Brust: Taltos gets to spend some time in the army while on a secret mission.

The Color of Magic - Terry Pratchett: The first Discworld book, a silly fun fairy tale.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J. K, Rowling: The second of the series, almost as much fun as the first.

Distraction - Bruce Sterling: West Wing political insiders in a wrecked America future, with genetic engineering thrown in.

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson: good cyberpunk.


The Machineries of Joy - Ray Bradbury: A collection of good short stories.

Broke Down Engine - Ron Goulart: robot short stories.

The Berkley Showcase Volume 1 - Victoria Schochet and John Silbersack: short stories, Orson Scott Card's The Princess and The Bear being a good classic fairy tale.

The Jesus Incident - Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom: the Ship creates people to settle a world, they see it as god.

Frameshift - Robert Sawyer: Huntington's disease genetic defect DNA testing and evil ex-Nazi doctor behind a medical insurance company combine.

A Scanner Darkly - Philip K. Dick: Drug damaged people investigated by an undercover police agent, who becomes one of them due to a split mind.

Books which aren't Books

Final Fantasy IX for Playstation 1 - Square: A 4 CDROM computer game. The action is so linear that playing it is a lot like reading a book. It suffers from the same can't-put-it-down effect as real books, causing many late nights. Reading is involved (Japanese or English), but unlike most books it is heavily illustrated with gorgeous graphics and great animation, the music is wonderful and the game play perfect (fairly easy, so you don't get stuck). The mediaevalish story starts with a band of pirates on a theatre air ship pretending to be actors so that they can kidnap a princess. You get to play the kidnappers, a kid trying to see the play, the princess's loyal knight, and quite a few other characters. Each of them has their own story and problems; my favourite is Vivi the pitch black shape with eyes (looks like Marvin the Martian with a floppy pointed hat that's too big), who wonders if he really exists after finding a factory making similarly appearing evil animated dolls.

- Alex

Copyright © 2000 by Alexander G. M. Smith.